Disclaimer: The wonderful JKR owns Harry Potter, I am merely playing with her creations and will return them when I'm done. Possibly...

Chapter 4: Dreams, Conflicts and Rumors

August 11th, 1997

Harry began tossing and turning as the moonlight lit the bedroom. It was one of those days where nothing, not even his sleep was going to go Harry's way.

"Lucius," the hiss-like voice escaped from Voldemort's lips. "Who have you brought before me?"

Lord Voldemort's most loyal followers were spread out across the throne room. They had been all called together to give their Lord their status on their most recent assignments. Since this was a meeting of his inner circle, most of whom were former classmates and colleges of his, Voldemort allowed the meeting to have a more laid-back feel than a meeting of all the Death Eaters.

Lucius Malfoy, a young man in his early twenties, walked forward to stand before his Lord. He was dressed, in the finest robes to show his stature over the other followers. While most members of the inner circle were his old classmates, Lucius was not and had only recently proven his undying loyalty to the cause which granted him a position in the inner circle.

Bound by Lucius's feet was a young girl that could not be more than fourteen years old. She had curly blonde hair that was knotted and frizzy. Her body was covered in burses and blood, and Voldemort was unable to get a clear view of her face since she kept her head bent low towards the stone floor.

"My Lord," Lucius's aristocratic drawl rang through the ceremony room. "This girl is the youngest daughter of Rafael Greengrass. As we promised, due to Rafael Greengrass's refusal to join our cause, we have taken his daughter, Mary."

"Excellent, Lucius," Voldemort hissed as he chuckled at the thought of anyone trying to defy his wishes. Nobody was safe from Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. "Well, Miss Greengrass, what do you think of your daddy's decision to defy Lord Voldemort?"

The girl at Lucius's feet just started to shake and sob. Various Death Eaters who were stationed throughout the room began to laugh at the girl's reaction. While it was not surprising for people to be afraid of the most powerful wizard in the world, it never ended well when they showed Lord Voldemort their fear.

"Perhaps you need us to teach you manners, girl." Voldemort announced to the room at large. He was growing quite amused at the jeers his followers were shouting at the young girl. And it was hard to ignore Lucius's excitement at the idea of "teaching" the girl some manners. A smirk crossed Harry's face as he had a sudden exciting idea.

"Lucius," Voldemort called, "What is the most important thing for a pureblooded witch?"

"Their virginity, my Lord," Lucius replied with a smirk spreading across his face. Voldemort's trusted follower seemed to understand exactly where he was going with this line of thought.

"And why is that?" Voldemort asked more for the benefit of the girl on the floor. He enjoyed torturing his prisoners mentally as well as physically. By taunting her and letting her know what they were going to do to her, and why, would make the experience much more painful for the girl before him.

"Because, my Lord, a pureblooded witch is worth trash if they are not a virgin on their wedding night," Lucius smugly announced. "No decent pureblood would marry a girl who wasn't a virgin maiden on their wedding night."

Laughter rang through the room as the rest of the bumbling fools began to catch on.

"So what would happen if this pitiful girl's virginity was forcefully taken?" Voldemort hissed as the girl on the floor's sobbing began to get louder and clearer.

"Please… don't… please," the girl began to sob out, begging for mercy.

"Silence," Lucius roared at the girl. "You will only speak when you are spoken to. Such disrespect towards our Lord will not be tolerated!"

As soon as he finished those words, Lucius kicked the girl in front of him directly in the face. Her scream of pain echoed throughout the room, as the blood began to pool on the floor in front of the girl. He must have broken her nose. Voldemort couldn't help but become excited at the sound of the girl's pain.

"My Lord," Lucius said while stepping forward and giving a little bow, "I apologize for the blood-traitor's behavior."

Voldemort merely waved his hand to motion for Lucius to return to answering his previous question.

"If this blood-traitor's," Lucius spat the word, "virginity was forcefully taken. Not only would the man currently betrothed to her break off the agreement, but no man would ever desire a whore. She would most likely remain a spinster for the rest of her life if she wasn't just shunned from the magical community all together."

The girl's sobbing continued to grow. This was the perfect way to destroy Rafael Greengrass for defying Lord Voldemort. Defile the man's daughter and cause her to become a social outcast would bring her family's good name down with her. Yes, this was the best outcome.

"Well then, Lucius," Voldemort hissed out in amusement as the girl began to struggle against her bonds. "Why don't you show this blood-traitor what we do to her kind? Then we can decide her ultimate fate."

The rest of the room began to snigger and laugh at loud as the girl's screaming and begging began once again. Lucius pulled out his wand and cast a paralyzing hex at the girl which immediately stopped her struggling as two other Death Eaters conjured a table in the center of the room.

"Why don't you do it for us all to see?" Rodolphus Lestrange called out and the rest of the men in the room cheered in agreement.

Lucius turned towards Voldemort for permission. Voldemort had no reason to force Lucius to do this in private, so he nodded his head in accent to the deed.

"My Lord," the sultry voice of Bellatrix purred out from beside him. "Perhaps while the men have their fun, we could have our own?"

Turning towards his most devoted and faithful follower, Voldemort could not help but notice that she had opened her robes to give him a perfect view of her ample chest. Bellatrix had to be the most beautiful and desirable woman under his command. It didn't hurt that she was an amazingly powerful witch either.

"Let's go my chambers, my pet," Voldemort hissed as the girl's screaming began once again. Someone must have lifted the petrifaction charm as he and Bellatrix walked out of the chamber.

Harry jumped out of bed with a start. Walking over to the window, Harry opened it to allow the cool breeze to cover his clammy skin. It had been years since he had his last dream of Lord Voldemort's memories. Harry took deep calming breaths to center his mind and body.

Those dreams never lead to anything good. He didn't want to have them, and he hated everything he saw in those dreams or rather visions. He knew they were more than dreams. The events he saw had really happened in the past. The way Lucius would respond to the mere mention of some of the events was proof enough.

Harry had been having these dreams on and off ever since Lucius had given him that blasted diary when he was nine years-old. The diary that contained the memories of Tom Riddle, better known as Lord Voldemort, which possessed and tried to kill Harry in an attempt to be reborn in a new body. Nobody, especially Lucius, knew why Tom's plan didn't work, and Harry was still alive while Voldemort's diary was destroyed.

From what Harry and Sissy overheard, the best theory the blood purists could come up with claimed whatever protected Harry from the diary was the same thing that protected Harry from the killing curse as a child. In short, they had no idea as to what caused Harry to survive the diary's possession. However, Lord Voldemort was still gone and Harry was alive and semi-well.

Harry, on the other hand, felt there was something more sinister behind how he had survived the diary's possession. Some of the memories Harry experienced were from long past the point that Voldemort created his diary, there was no way those memories should have been included in it's pages. Harry felt there just had to be something else wrong with him.

But what had triggered this particular dream? Harry pondered the million dollar question as he continued to stare out of the window of his prison. As he did so the memories of the last twenty-four hours raced through his mind: the ceremony, the arguments, and of course Ginevra.

At the mere thought of his wife, Harry's stomach instantly dropped. It was Ginevra, what he had done to her was the trigger of these memories. He had forced himself on her, just as Lucius had forced himself on that girl in the memory. Ginevra would never be able to marry the man of her dreams due to him.

She had made it quite clear the Malfoys had spun a web of lies in regards to her relationship with young Draco. But now she had been forced to wed and bed him and she had lost her free will, as a pureblooded witch in the magical society. It was all his fault. He did that to her.

Harry was no fool. He knew he would never be free to step a foot outside of Malfoy Manor again. He was trapped in his cage until the Malfoys discovered a way to kill him once and for all. Once that happened he was as good as dead, and Ginevra would be a widow, if she was able to escape the same fate that he was destined for.

By marrying Ginevra he didn't save her life. He merely delayed her death. Whether it was for days, weeks, months or perhaps a year or more he wasn't sure. All Harry knew was that the Malfoys were growing bolder as each day passed. The fact that the Malfoys even attempted to force the Weasley girl into a marriage with their son was further evidence of it. Which meant Harry's chance of finding freedom was growing slimmer by the day.

Knowing that sleep would not find him again that evening, Harry prepared to dress for the day. He needed to step up his research into a way to break free of his prison.

August 12th, 1997

"Weasley, it's a shame about what happened at Malfoy Manor yesterday," the annoying voice of Auror Dawlish broke the silence in the small office shared by Arthur Weasley and his subordinate Perkins.

Arthur knew that several of his co-workers at the Ministry of Magic would be tactless enough to bring up the subject of his family tragedy. The only thing was Arthur did not plan on it starting at nine in the morning. It seemed that bad news traveled quickly, and an issue one did not care to speak of in public was all the rage.

Taking a calming breath, Arthur responded to the auror in front of him. "Yes, we were all deeply saddened by the Wizengamot's decision. However, we all uphold the law, and respect it for the time being. We all just hope we will hear from Ginny soon about how she is doing."

Dawlish started to laugh, "That wasn't what I was talking about, Weasley. I was there yesterday incase you want to know what happened during the nuptials."

Even though Arthur hated to admit to a creep like Dawlish that he had no clue what happened with his daughter's wedding ceremony, the knowledge he would gain about her wellbeing easily out weighted his pride.

"Please," Arthur responded in as kind of a tone that he could muster, "share what you know."

"Your daughter didn't marry the Malfoy boy," Dawlish said with a smirk. "Seems there was a screw up when the initial binding ceremony was performed."

Arthur's heart stopped when he heard the news. He had honestly thought it couldn't get any worse. Now he was easily proven wrong. At least before they had an idea of where Ginny was and what may be happening to her, but to not know, that was pure torture.

"Who did she…" Arthur left the question unfinished; he couldn't even vocalize the terrible words.

"Don't know for sure," Dawlish said while scratching his head, "didn't know who the bloke was, only that he was a part of the Malfoys' household. Perhaps they said his name was Peters? He must have been one of the muggle-born the Malfoys took in. Too bad the Malfoys' home-school all of their muggleborns since it doesn't seem like your daughter will be going back to Hogwarts anytime soon."

Arthur's heart fell to his stomach as he distractedly thanked Dawlish for the information and turned back to the work he had in front of him. All he could think about was his little girl and what terrible things she must be going through. Even though Arthur had come to accept that Ginny would be forced to marry Draco, he was relieved that she would not be married to him. However, now she was married to a muggle-born in the Malfoy household, and that was truly terrifying to Arthur.

It was quite apparent to most of the wizarding society that the Malfoys had no respect for muggle-born witches and wizards. Now his little girl's safety was linked to this muggle-born and his status in the Malfoy home, it was enough to chill Arthur to the core. For all he knew, the Malfoys would kill Ginny and her husband, then tell the world that they had moved away.

Not more than ten minutes after Dawlish had left the door to the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office once again crashed open.

"Weasley," bellowed Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic. "What on earth did you do?"

"Minister," Arthur replied, while Perkins looked on dumbstruck. "What do you mean?"

"What did you do to cause this tragedy to befall your daughter and young Draco Malfoy's nuptials?" Continuing without giving Arthur a chance to speak, "Everyone in the ministry knows you and the rest of your family did not support their love, but to do something to cause your daughter misery is far below anything anyone suspected of the Weasley family. Even with the legendary rivalry between the Weasley and Malfoy families, it is hard to believe a Weasley would sink so low."

Arthur's jaw dropped. He knew it was useless to tell the minister that his daughter had not liked Draco, let alone want to marry the boy. But to think that he, Arthur Weasley, father of seven who loved all of his children would do something so evil. It was just shameful than anyone would think that of him.

"Sir, no one in my family did anything to hinder Ginny's nuptials," except file numerous appeals with the Wizengamot, thought Arthur. "I had no idea that Ginny had not married young Mister Malfoy, until Auror Dawlish informed me a few minutes ago."

"Truly?" asked the Minister.

"Truly, sir" Arthur replied. "And I highly doubt anyone in my family would sink as low as to purposely harm Ginevra in an attempt to prevent a marriage between a Weasley and a Malfoy."

"No one in your family placed a curse on the union?" Fudge continued to fish for a possible explanation.

"Absolutely not," Arthur evenly replied. "Ginny is the lifeline of our family. If she wished to marry Malfoy, then her brothers and my wife and I would support her regardless of our personal feelings for the boy's family." Although Arthur personally considered, he wouldn't put it past some of his sons, such as the twins, to do something like this since they knew Ginny did not want it.

"Well, if you're sure," a flustered Fudge replied and Arthur privately wondered how much money Lucius Malfoy paid him to ask those questions.

"Out of this whole situation, I feel the most sorry for the poor Potter boy," Fudge continued.

"Excuse me, sir," Arthur interrupted. "The Potter boy?"

"Yes, yes," Fudge said while wringing his hands. "Your daughter was married to young Harry Potter. The poor boy is so shy, I wonder how he is dealing with the shock that he is married. He rarely leaves the Malfoys' home. That's why the Malfoys' started that school within their home. Out of all their wards, only Draco decided to attend Hogwarts."

Arthur's eyebrows were threatening to jump off his face. Did Fudge honestly believe all the hype that the Malfoys had been passing around for the past several years? Did he really think Harry Potter wanted nothing to do with the wizarding world, and that the Malfoys were merely protecting him? Just thinking about Fudge's position made Arthur's head spin.

"Do they know how this error occurred?" Arthur hesitantly asked. He didn't want to push his luck.

"Of course not, Weasley!" Fudge snapped and Arthur knew this conversation was coming to an end.

"If anything is found out, you will be notified," the minister amended calming his tone. "Gentlemen, have a good day," Fudge said as he exited the office.

All Arthur and Perkins could do was stare at each other. After about five minutes, Perkins finally spoke up. "Wicked, Arthur! Your son-in-law is the Boy-Who-Lived!"

Today was going to be a long day for Arthur. He needed to contact Dumbledore as soon as possible to tell him what he had learned about Ginny's new husband.

"But, Father," the shrill voice of Draco Malfoy could be heard from outside the main study of Malfoy Manor. "I wanted the Weasley whore for myself! You said I could have her as a plaything."

Sissy could hardly believe the whiny bastard's gall for saying such things in the open about Ginevra, if her Lord caught wind, it would be likely that the Malfoy family would lose their only heir. Granted neither Draco nor Lucius knew she was standing outside of the door, but with the large household they employed, they should both know better than to say such things without silencing charms around their meeting areas.

"Draco," the impatient voice of Lucius Malfoy broke Sissy from her thoughts. "I have my theories as to why Potter may have wanted the Weasley slut for his own, but until I can confirm my theories I dare not openly speculate as to what they may be."

"It's always about Potter," Draco hissed. "He always gets everything he could ever want, all because he has a ruddy scar on his head. There is nothing special about that git."

"You do not know everything Draco," Lucius said with a warning tone to his voice. "Not everything is simple when it comes to that boy. You know as a baby he defeated our master, and then he did it again when he was nine years old. Potter is dangerous and we must tread lightly around him at all times."

"But, Father," Draco whined again, "Potter is under your control. Can't you simply order him to let me have the ginger bitch as my plaything?"

Sissy could hear Lucius sigh through the door. "I can control where he can go in this manor. The wards I placed around him when we gained custody allow me that much control. Other than that Potter is a loose cannon, one I almost wish I never had anything to do with. If it wasn't for the reward the Dark Lord will bestow upon me when he returns, I would have sent the boy away by now."

"Surly you must be joking, Father," Draco said with ill disguised contempt. "Potter is nothing. You are far more powerful than that half-blood," the term soundly like a foul insult coming from Draco's mouth, "could ever hope to be."

"Draco," Lucius said patiently as if he were talking to a small child. "There are many things, especially about Potter that we do not understand. The most talented Unspeakables with the Department of Mysteries still do not know how Potter survived the killing curse cast by the Dark Lord over fifteen years ago. When it comes to Potter we must always tread lightly while showing him where is proper place is."

"Father, if Potter is such a hassle why don't we just simply kill him?" The simple way Draco suggested her Lord be murdered chilled Sissy to the core, even though she had a pretty good idea what Lucius's response would be.

"If it were easy to kill Potter, than the Dark Lord would have done it fifteen years ago," Lucius heatedly replied. "Besides everyone would be pointing their fingers directly at us, if anything were to happen to Potter while he lives here. My son, you are of age now, I had hoped you had better common sense than this."

Sissy could imagine the look on the spoiled brat's face. Draco really did reflect the idiot he was born to be when he chose to.

"In any event, Draco," Lucius continued without missing a beat. "When you return from school for Christmas, I will be prepared to teach you how to control the wards surrounding Potter."

"But why can't I learn now?" Draco whined for the third time. Sissy would love to do nothing more than to smack the pompous stuck up ass by now.

"Because, Draco," Lucius's temper was finally beginning to show. "The wards need to be slightly modified to allow another individual of the Malfoy bloodline to gain control of these wards."

"And when I do, I can have the Weasley slut with Potter forced to be in the room watching, unable to do anything about it!" Draco stated with glee in his voice.

"Draco!" Lucius bellowed. "Forget the Weasley girl, she is dead to you. The girl belongs to Potter and is not worth the effort. Besides, no one knows what Potter is truly capable of until he is backed into a corner. Perhaps you should write to Pansy, and attempt to patch things up with her once again."

"But, Father," Draco whined, as Sissy rolled her eyes at his childish antics. "Pansy looks like a dog."

Sissy secretly agreed with Draco's assessment of Mistress Parkinson. She had the opportunity to view the pure-blood heiress several times when she would visit young Draco. Having run out of patience at Draco's behavior, Sissy mentally cataloged this conversation to report to her Lord later in the evening. He would be pleased to know what she was able to learn from the two bumbling Malfoys.

A/N: A huge thank you to swanpride for helping me workout the kinks in this chapter, and to zephy for her beta work. I will be looking for an additional beta who is strong with spelling and grammar to assist me for a few weeks while zephy is recovering from surgery. If you are interested send me a pm or an email. Also, I am moving the update day of this fic from Sunday to Thursday, so the next update won't be till April 23rd. Too much going on with getting The Strength of Family ready to update on Mondays to give this story the proper love on Sunday nights.


Next Chapter: The Caged Lion